Barton Fink is a movie filled with complex symbolism, twisted plots, hidden meanings, and funny jokes. It is overflowing with deeper meaning and strong connections to an underlying theme. As a play write, Barton Fink is placed in a Hollywood setting struggling to write a movie on the topic of wrestling, something he knows nothing about. When analyzed, one can see that the film Barton Fink is not at all what it seems to be.
When thinking about the theme of a movie, one tends to question all that they see. In Barton Fink, one of the first questions that arise is that of Hotel Earle. The building and the employees are all part of the broad picture that is about to be painted right in front of Fink's eyes. Carl, who seems to be Hotel Earle's only employee, first arrives from what appears to be the underworld
a trap door in the floor behind the front desk. Then, the number six reoccurs three times while Fink rides in the elevator. Finally, the heading on the notepad in Fink's hotel room reads, "A Day or A Lifetime." These three questionable events show the viewer that Barton Fink is, as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz puts it, "not in Kansas anymore."
Shortly after checking into the hotel, Fink encounters the image of his "common man." In a bulky form, his next door neighbor is an outgoing, expressive, and sweaty insurance salesman named Charlie Meadows. At this point in the movie, Fink's problems are just beginning. Upon meeting his friendly neighbor, Fink refuses to listen to Charlie when he tries to tell him stories. This is a huge mistake that Fink will soon regret. Charlie Meadows seems to be Hotel Earle's resident fallen angle. He has not yet been cast into hell, but rather resides in the hotel to prevent people from going there.